‘Dantesque images of chaos and uncertainty’ in Barcelona

by Deborah Cater
Hotel damaged during protests in Barcelona; copyright NH Collection Barcelona Gran Hotel Calder´n

BARCELONA – There is no end to the violent protests in Barcelona. Vandals use rapper Hasel’s imprisonment as an excuse for destruction. They are now targeting hotels already in dire straits due to the health crisis.

Rioters are no longer just attacking urban furniture or cultural buildings such as the Palau de la Música, whose stained glass windows were smashed. On Saturday, the rioters shattered the glass doors to the lobby of the NH Collection Barcelona Gran Hotel Calder´n. The hotel is on the Rambla de Cataluña, one of the city’s most touristic spots. The vandals also tried to set fire to the five-star hotel and left graffiti on the facade of the building.

‘Dantesque images of chaos and uncertainty’

The management of the Gremi d’Hotels in Barcelona condemned the vandalism that “once again leaves behind dantesque images of chaos and insecurity.” It demanded that necessary resources are deployed to put an immediate end to the  protests in Barcelona. In addition, the criticise the lack of determination on the part of the municipal authorities. The hoteliers believe the passive and ambiguous attitude of the authorities deprives citizens and entrepreneurs of “their rights and their security guarantees”.

More damage in Barcelona

The protesters also damaged a restaurant in central Barcelona. Several shops were looted and bank offices were set on fire. Vandals also set fire to a police van. On Saturday afternoon, Mossos d’Esquadra made 13 arrests, the local police made three. Six agents of Mossos sustained minor injuries.

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Police unions outraged

Police unions outraged by the escalating violence. Regional Minister of the Interior Miquel Samper denounces the riots as ‘pure, unbridled and unprecedented violence’ in response to a police van on fire.

Situation Analysis

Twelve days after the start of the riots in several Catalan cities, the Generalitat and Barcelona City Council will meet on Monday at the urgent request of the Mossos d’Esquadra and city police to analyse the situation. The government will also meet with mayors from other affected municipalities.

Mayor Colau calls for calm

Mayor Ada Colau visited Ciutat Vella Police Station where the vehicle was burned, along with Deputy Mayor of Security Albert Batlle to show her support for the Guardia Urbana. She called for a “unanimous rejection of violence” and made an appeal for “calm.”

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